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Best Appointment Scheduling Software for Service Businesses

Amie Parnaby
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Appointment scheduling software

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Appointment scheduling software is a speciality software that includes management and booking tools for business owners and professionals. So, what’s the benefit of using such software? Well, it automates tasks, keeps things organised, conveniently books appointments and meetings, and sends out confirmations and reminders, all while allowing you to have more time to focus on tasks that generate revenue.

Businesses in the service industry tend to have a set of unique needs when it comes to appointment scheduling software. For example, a law firm may require its software to schedule client consultations, keep track of billable hours, and send out appointment reminders. On the other hand, a gym may want to automate its booking process for classes and keep track of its memberships.

How to Choose

There are hundreds of booking software options on the market, making it challenging to choose one – especially the right one to fit your needs. So, our expert team trialled some of the best on the market and put them to the test. We looked at how easy it is to use the online booking system, the functions of the appointment calendar, and if they have a scheduling app. We also compared customer service, reviews, pricing, and more. Read below to learn more about the best appointment scheduling software for service businesses. 

The Best Appointment Scheduling Software for Service Businesses in 2022

SimplyBook.me – Best Overall

Calendly – Best for Meetings

Vcita – Best for Automation

Genbook – Best for Convenience

Best Overall – SimplyBook.me

SimplyBook.me has been in the market for over a decade and has clients worldwide. Their largest customer demographic is in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, France, and Germany. The scheduling system is available in ten languages, including English, Chinese, French, Portuguese and more, to accommodate as many clients as possible. SimplyBook.me has ISO27001 accreditation, which is a standard for managing information security. It offers both admin apps and client apps. The system provides the ability for clients to accept bookings via Facebook, Google, and Instagram. The customisation is endless due to the wide variety of custom features to fit your business’ needs, ranging from payments, memberships, classes, gift cards, and intake forms.

What differentiates SimplyBook.me from other key players in the appointment scheduling software market?

Firstly, it has to be the level of customisation available to modify your booking page; if anything, there are too many options. Secondly, it would have to be the support available via the live chat, help centre, or walk-through video guides. The help centre is full of articles, guides and walk-through videos to help their clients, but also their helpful support staff are available 24/7 during business days on live chat. The support team’s response time averages 10 seconds, and they’re highly knowledgeable and trained on their products. 

Customers who already have an established website can get a widget from SimplyBook.me. In contrast, customers who don’t have a website can benefit from the booking websites provided by SimplyBook.me. There are multiple customisable templates which can be modified to fit your brand identity. They can add extra pages and choose from over 60 other customisation features

Examples of a few features are that a medical clinic can enable HIPAA and SOAP custom features, whilst a fitness studio can use the Instagram share photo features, the membership and classes feature, the waiting list, and the loyalty system. Customers can try the booking software with a 14-day free trial – no credit card needed. They can then choose to use the free version with limited features or a paid version. All paid versions offer 17% savings if paid annually instead of monthly. The Basic plan is $9.90 per month and includes 100 bookings and a client app. The Standard plan consists of 500 bookings and is $29.90 per month, and the Premium plan is $59.90 a month and includes 1000 bookings and unlimited custom features.

Best for Meetings – Calendly 

Calendly was founded in 2013 and is located in the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, in the Southeastern United States. The system is a ready-to-go, all-in-one meeting lifecycle platform that companies worldwide use for meeting and appointment settings. It has integrations with over 100 partners. You can add the Calendly booking flow directly to your company’s website by using one of the three embed options.

What sets Calendly apart is that it is great for scheduling meetings – you can share your availability with just one click! You can also invite customers or clients to schedule a time from an email or webpage. The software lets you put a cap on meeting times, and you can choose the buffer option to ensure a break between meetings. Additionally, Calendly is compatible with up to six calendars at one time. 

The company offers a free 14 day trial period to get a feel for its software. There is the option to stay with the Basic plan, which is always free or upgrade to a paid plan. You save 20% by paying annually instead of monthly. The Essentials plan is $8 per month per user and includes scheduling automation. The next level is the Professional plan which is the most popular; it’s $12 per month per user and consists of some team features and integrations. Next, you have the Teams plan for $16 per month per user, and this level is designed to integrate team schedules effectively. If you need a custom plan for more than 30 people, you can contact the company directly for an Enterprise level plan. 

Best for Automation – Vcita

Vcita is a software company based in Tel Aviv, Israel and founded in 2010, aiming to help small business owners. It’s now a great option for business management and client engagement. Vcita offers a mobile app and an education hub for its clients while focusing on providing tailored solutions with seamless integration and is available for any industry. It includes scheduling software, calendars, client management, client portals, online payments, and marketing platforms.

Vcita is great for automation, and an easy setup – business users can set up the system in four simple steps. Clients can book online or in-person meetings anytime, and Vcita sends automated confirmations and meeting requests to you. You can customise the online scheduler with your company’s branding and sync your personal calendar with your work calendar to avoid double bookings. Vcita can be used with existing websites, your Google Business Page, and social media. There is also the possibility of using a website template if you do not have one set up already. 

Vcita offers a free trial and three paid plans of service, which have a discount if you pay annually. If you pay monthly, the Essentials plan is $29, the Business plan is $59, and the Platinum plan is $99. You can view all of the plan details and specifications on the company’s website. You first select the size of your team and answer a few questions, which will then be used as a guide for the best-suited plan for your company. Some of the plan features include Zoom integrations, business performance reports, and an online lead capturing widget. 

Best for Convenience – Genbook 

Genbook was founded in 2006 and has since been acquired by the company, Booksy. The product is one app where you can get organised, grow your business, and simplify administrative tasks. It’s designed for clients to easily book appointments or meetings online with clear communication and a memorable service experience. Owners can access client information in real-time and automate booking appointments. Genbook is easy to set up by following the guide videos and does not require a technological background. You have a dedicated account manager to help with any questions in case of any issues. 

Genbook differentiates itself from the competition by being convenient. You can connect client reviews with Google to highlight customers who are contemplating booking. Clients can also see, search, and schedule services on a client booking page. It’s cloud-based, can be used on the go, and has simple integrations. 

Genbook, like most other scheduling software companies, offers a free trial with no credit card required. It offers two plans: Lite and Pro. As of March 2022, both plans are $29.99 a month per person, and each additional staff member is $20 a month. The Lite plan is limited, and you can use it as both a calendar and for appointments, but it does not include shifts or inventory. In contrast, the Advanced plan includes shifts, inventory, and more advanced checkout features and is useable on any device. 

Wrapping it Up

Appointment scheduling software for service businesses saves business owners and managers time and money. It helps keep the business running smoothly, tracks appointments, and automates tedious tasks. The software options above are highly rated, and each has different features, tools, and price points. Overall, we recommend checking out SimplyBook.me. The company has various tools, accepts booking via social media, and offers set up tutorials to get you up and running quickly. It’s also easy to customise and is useable for businesses just starting as well as established companies. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Appointment Scheduling Software Do? 

Appointment booking software helps businesses book and manage appointments and meetings. It is more effective and efficient than managing the appointments by hand or inputting them one by one. The software sends out automated reminders and has features that let clients book, reschedule, cancel appointments, and manage employees’ calendars. Most software is also mobile compatible so that clients can book on the go. 

When you’re choosing an appointment scheduling software for service businesses, consider the following:

  • Streamlined appointment system
  • Online scheduling 
  • Compatible with mobile devices
  • Available in multiple languages
  • Help with set-up and use 
  • Available customer support 

Why Should Service Businesses Use Appointment Scheduling Software?

Service businesses benefit from using appointment scheduling software in several ways. 

Some reasons to use scheduling software for service businesses include:

  • Saving time: Spend time on revenue-generating tasks and let the software handle the more menial tasks.
  • Fewer errors: Your employee may make a mistake when scheduling an appointment, but there will be fewer errors when the customer books their appointment directly through the software
  • Less no shows: Automated reminders help remind customers of their meetings, so they’re more likely to attend or, at the very least, reschedule the appointment 

Really there is no reason not to use appointment scheduling software

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